Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Choosing To Be An Optimist

It's always tough to stay positive, but especially right now I think people are finding it extremely difficult and I'm no exception. I've been trying to do all I can to believe that I'll get a new job soon and someday my whole paycheck will come from writing, but it's good to have examples of people that have succeeded at it, to look to for inspiration. One great mind that's useful to look to on this topic is Michael J Fox.

Michael J. Fox is a tremendous example of what one can do if you choose to be positive. He is struggling with Parkinson's Disease, but instead of feeling sorry for himself he has actively decided to be an optimist and appreciate the parts of his life that are going well. He has made it clear that it didn't happen overnight and that when first diagnosed he didn't immediately find his way to being positive about it, but he eventually got to that place. His recent book -- Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist is fantastic and a must read for anyone whether they are struggling or not. In the book and on tv he manages to use humor to cope and lighten the mood and that's always a good idea. His earlier book, Lucky Man, is also worth checking out.

Last night he was on Jimmy Kimmel (click here if you want to see it) and was completely hilarious and charming. He really hit home the message about choosing to focus on the things that are within your control and not spending time fretting over those things you can't change. He also did a special that is going to air on ABC in early May all about optimism that looks really good. There's a clip of the show here. By the way, if you have missed him on Rescue Me recently, try to check out the next episode. Here's a great clip of him and Denis Leary in a scene. He might not act as much anymore, but he certainly hasn't lost his chops.

So try today to focus on the positive, control what you can and let go of the rest. It's a lesson I'm going to try and put into practice today as well.

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